The Humane Society/SPCA of San Antonio and Bexar County

Location: San Antonio
Client: The Humane Society/SPCA
Architect: Alamo Architects
Completion Date: November 2002
General Contractor: Metropolitan Contracting
Project Size: 22,000 SF
Structural Engineer: Lawrence Calvetti, PE
MEP Engineer: Tom Green & Company
Landscape Architect: J. Robert Anderson, FASLA
Recognition / Awards / Publication: International award winner:  2005 Architectural Record/Business Week Good Design Is Good Business Award. 2003 Excellence in Construction Award, South Texas Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. 2003 American Institute of Architects Citation 2003 Golden Trowel, San Antonio Masonry Contractors Association for Superior Design

Our award-winning facility for the Humane Society of San Antonio represents a unique and revolutionary approach to the problem of shelter design, transforming the visitor experience from a bleak and depressing ordeal into a lively, fun and exciting interaction with animals available for adoption.  Designed to be a focal center for animal care issues and adoption in San Antonio, the planning ideas revolve around a group of buildings surrounding a landscaped park space where visitors can spend time in the open air with potential animal family members. Bleak prison-like building blocks usually associated  with a typical shelter have been rejected in this design response, and instead the animal care areas are broken into campus of individual buildings with smaller sunlit spaces surrounded with play yards where the animals can get daily exercise or visit with potential adoptive families.  Interior finishes mix durability with playful color, and animals are housed in actual room size enclosures, visible through glass walls. Familiar regional forms and materials are employed to create a friendly setting, with large overhanging roofs and vine-covered trellises providing shelter from the elements.  Designed to include spaces for evolving outreach programs like pet care and dog training, the facility includes an educational building and training yard, as well as space for other smaller charitable functions.  With adoptions up 90% in its first year of operation, this new courtyard-focused complex seeks to become a new center in San Antonio for responsible pet care and adoption.